What grade would you give your team (A, B, C, D, F) and why? Do you think there are areas of your team that are strong and areas that are weak?
Arya – C: I like my starters, but weak RBs and very little depth.
Jon – I would give myself a B as a grade for this draft. The heaviest picks weighing on my draft came in rounds 6/7 as I took Russell Wilson and Jeremy Maclin. By forgoing the standard logic of waiting until the later rounds to draft a QB, I valued Wilson as an integral part of my lineup and his performance this season will be the primary factor of determining the quality of this draft in hindsight. I see Maclin as a medium-risk/high-reward WR3 candidate with potential high WR2 upside. Out of all the positions on my team, I see my WRs with the most depth- with players like Hurns, Marvin Jones, Corey Coleman and Sammie Coates all potentially serving as a valuable week-to-week play in the flex spot. The success of my RBs relies on the health of McCoy and a full return to form by C.J. Anderson combined with the unexpected (and unreliable) emergence of T.J. Yeldon and Melvin Gordon. On the whole, I’d say there’s too much contingent on non-guaranteed success to be completely confident in my RB corps this early in the preseason.
Nick – I would give myself a C on my draft. My starting lineup is strong, but since I took Drew Brees and Travis Kelce earlier than I planned, my bench seriously lacks some depth. It was hard to pass up the value on Brees and Kelce but looking back, it might have helped to wait for a lower quarterback and tight end and drafted to build depth. I feel I have a very strong core of four wide receivers, but it would be hard to trust the other three I have my on bench in Mohammed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett, and Terrance Williams. I am going to need some of my sleepers to produce during bye weeks if I have any chance of making it to the postseason.
Harold – I think my team is alright. I’d be happier with it if the players I was targeting in the mid and late rounds weren’t sniped from me, but I had to adjust and dig deep late for some quality picks. I’d give my team a B- grade, because I think I have some flyers and depth at RB. My WRs are solid, but no one stands out as a superstar, because I went RB early and missed out on elite guys. They have potential though, and overall it’s not a flashy team, but it’s solid and could surprise people.
Anthony – I would give my team a “B” for a grade. I am solid at running back, finishing with Le’Veon Bell, Doug Martin, Arian Foster and DeMarco Murray as potential starters. I also have Jeremy Hill, who is someone I believe will have a similar season to his rookie year. In a half point PPR league there were times I took a running back where I could have taken another receiver. My starting wide receivers are Allen Robinson, Julian Edelman and Larry Fitzgerald. I also have some high upside guys with Sterling Shepard and Laquon Treadwell, and Vincent Jackson could be productive for a few weeks! Finally, if Jimmy Graham returns from injury I could have the steal in the draft at tight end!
Amol – I would give my team a “B” grade. I think I drafted very well when it came to wide receivers and have a solid core in Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery and Kennan Allen, with Donte Moncrief and Jordan Matthews being good options to have at the flex position. I think the options of Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers give me two high-end quarterbacks that I can feel comfortable with throughout the season. In Ladarius Green, I feel like have a potential break out candidate at the position and I am more than comfortable with my fall back option in Jason Witten. I would admit that the weakness on my team has to be the running backs. Both Carlos Hyde and Latavius Murray are middle of the road backs that have the potential to break out this year. Either one of them would be a great option as an RB2 but on my team one of them will have to assume the role of RB1. Frank Gore and Tevin Coleman are my backup options and although I am a big believer in the former, I also know that he is reaching the tail-end of his year. My hope is that Coleman breaks out this year and takes hold of the starting back spot in Atlanta. I truly believe he is more talented than incumbent Devonta Freeman.
Shawn – I love my team as I believe it’s talented, balanced and deep. Adrian Peterson followed by 2015’s YPC leader in Thomas Rawls is a great 1-2 punch at the scarce RB position and provide a stable 20-35 points week to week. Topping that off with three #1 receivers in high octane offenses (Jordy Nelson, Amari Cooper and Kelvin Benjamin), a breakout candidate in Zach Ertz at tight end and Eli Manning throwing to whom many are claiming will be his best wide receiver corps ever is music to my ears. And last but not least, though I wish I had more than 4 receivers on my team, I’m pleased with the depth on my roster. Having a receiver the caliber of John Brown on my bench and Martellus Bennett, Duke Johnson and Ameer Abdullah rounding out the bottom of my chart sound extremely promising to me. Grade: A
Pasha – I give my team a B+ with room to improve. I believe I drafted the best RB corps in the league – David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliot, and Devonta Freeman with my first three picks. My WRs are lacking a bit, though I did steal Mike Evans in the mid 4th. I gambled on Josh Gordon as I fully believe he’ll be back to his elite form when he returns. The remainder of my WRs are high upside guys and I’m banking on a couple of them hitting.
What draft strategy did you use while making your selections? Do you think the strategy worked?
Arya – Best player available and best talent regardless of situation. It worked in terms of getting good value but left me thin at RB, but I think I am good enough to improve that during the season.
Jon – Knowing that I was going to take Julio with the 2nd overall pick, I based my strategy on shoring up both WR and RB in the early rounds. I liked the value for Marshall’s potential in the third round and ended up taking Anderson in round 4 as the RB tier cliff approached quickly. I would’ve ideally liked to grab Forte in the fourth, though his value and ADP had a deserving increase in recent weeks and there was no surprise in his selection at 4.01 before I could grab him. From rounds 5 and onwards, I stayed close to picking the BPA in my own rankings- including TE Olsen and QB Wilson, the latter of which may be a reaching commitment.
Nick – I had the strategy of just getting the best value possible in every round. I was shocked to get Todd Gurley with my first pick at 8 and feel confident in my four receivers, especially Golden Tate. As I mentioned above, I think it came back to bite me somewhat with Brees and Kelce. My bench suffered a lot because I focused so much on getting the best value. I love so many late quarterbacks and tight ends that I should have waited instead of jumping the gun.
Harold – I wanted to focus on RBs early because of the depth at WR, I figured I could get some value later on. Given the choices I had at each of my picks, I choose reliability and known production over rookies that have never seen the field and assumed production at RB. I choose Ingram and Lacy in the first two rounds because they are the primary backs in good offenses and have little to no competition in their backfields. I followed that up with solid WR1’s who produce, and have potential for being top five overall. Hilton and Floyd, both also on high performance offenses, notice the theme?
Anthony – I am someone who needs a lot of running backs on my team to feel like if someone is injured I have plenty of depth. I have five running backs that could finish as a RB1 this season, so I think my strategy worked well!
Amol – Although I did not plan this going into the draft, I ended up using the “Zero-RB strategy” early in the draft. With the first pick I knew I was going to select Antonio Brown, giving me the best wide receiver in fantasy. As the draft snaked back to me in the second round, I really did not like the running back options and I felt that I could get more value by continuing to strengthen my wide receiver corps. When I did get my backs in the 4th and 5th rounds, respectively, I felt like I got fairly good value in Carlos Hyde and Latavius Murray. Overall I think the strategy worked in that I have very strong receivers coupled with two running backs that I think can produce double digit performances consistently throughout the season.
Shawn – The strategy I utilized in this draft was taking a stud running back early then selecting the best players available there forth with hopes of implementing balance as well. I believe it worked well, considering I got to choose first from the running back pool and subsequently filling both my RB slots and three receiver slots in the first 5 rounds with players I deemed the best available…The bird is the word.
Pasha – I draft based on best available, not need. That’s why I selected 3 RBs in rounds 1-3. I didn’t go into the draft planning on going RB heavy at the 6 spot, though three RB1s fell to me in each round so I believe I struck gold. I form my own rankings and used those throughout the draft.
What pick do you wish you could change after looking back on your draft and why?
Arya – Should have taken Ezekiel Elliott before falling to mid second. He’s likely a top 5 fantasy asset for me.
Jon – Not to sound like an owner mired in regret, but if I could have changed anything I probably would’ve taken Duke Johnson or DeMarco Murray with the Wilson pick in round 6. I had a high valuation of Johnson (who went at 7.03), though I didn’t expect him to go until the 8th – where I ended up with Melvin Gordon instead.
Nick – Kelce and Brees seem to be a running theme, right? By far my biggest regret. Looking at my bench, the only player I know for a fact can give me starter numbers is Ryan Mathews and he even has some question marks. This is the first time since my very first year of playing fantasy football that I have taken a QB before the 10th round and I remember why now. I would have loved to get an Allen Hurns, DeSean Jackson, Sterling Shepard, or Rashad Jennings instead of Brees. Or Marvin Jones or Ameer Abdullah instead of Kelce. Matthew Stafford, a guy I love, is sitting on waivers right now that would have cost me nothing to draft. Anyone reading this from FantasyHaus, want to trade for Drew Brees?
Harold – The only pick that stands out to me when reviewing the draft board is Dion Lewis in the fifth. I followed the turn with Lockett in the sixth, but probably could’ve solidified my WR Corp with Maclin or Tate, and came back for the RB depth later. All that said, I’m glad I got both of my guys, because I think Lewis and Lockett will both have solid seasons.
Anthony – There really isn’t a pick that I would take back. I really wanted to take Jimmy Graham where I took Vincent Jackson (13th round), and I waited and he made it back to me. Had someone else taken Jimmy Graham I would have been very upset with taking Vincent Jackson.
Amol – The one pick that I wish that I could have changed was my 15th round pick of Travis Benjamin. I think Benjamin will provide solid wide receiver depth and have a good season in San Diego. However, at the time I had not drafted a defense and Arizona, Houston and Carolina’s defenses were still on the board. I felt that the rest of the league might wait till the last two rounds before going defense, so I opted to hold off. When those three defenses were selected in the middle-to-late 15th round, I knew I could not wait any longer and jumped on the Chiefs defense in the 16th. Obviously there is no way to predict draft trends, however if I had even the slightest inclination that defense would go early, then I would have drafted one of those three defenses a round earlier.
Shawn – Oh gosh… True story: In the 8th round I sent Pasha a text saying, “how you gonna do a brotha like that?”. In the 7th round I was debating between one Duke Johnson and one Thomas Brady. In my head rationed, “Okay, only Rodgers and Newton are off the board, nobody else will be thinking Brady in the next 3 QB’s and ill swoop him in the 8th. Brilliant” …then Pasha happened; woe is me…..At least i swooped Ertz out from under him
Pasha – I wouldn’t take any pick back. I like the upside of my team.
Who do you feel was your best value pick? What players were you excited about drafting?
Arya – Jordan Reed: second half of last year he was scoring on par with Gronk and winning leagues for owners. If he just reaches those numbers again he gives an advantage that is worth an early second round pick. He fell because of concerns over his health, but guys like Gronk also had those concerns a few years ago. After week 1 against the steelers I see a potential shootout heavily raising Reed’s value.
Jon – I think I got decent value for Allen Hurns in round 9 as well as Corey Coleman in round 12. Coleman’s success is much less assured with the re-tooling of the Browns offense behind RG3, but Hurns could become a steady WR3/flex option with the potential for 70+ receptions and 1000+ yards combined with being a regular end zone target.
Nick – I think Gurley at 1.8 is incredible value. This is a guy who is my top running back. It’s rare to get value this great. I also loved getting Jamaal Charles in the second round. He is someone that I have complete confidence in coming back to dominate as he’s done in the past. Charles has put up hall of fame numbers since entering the league and the Chiefs are going to give him that full workload. He’s also a durable guy, only missing time during his two significant injuries. After the first two round, I felt really good.
Harold – Because the draft was 18 rounds and I had a later pick, I played like I was at or right before the turn, therefore I reached for guys that I didn’t think would make it back to me. This method doesn’t create a lot of “value” picks by definition if you consider ADP. My advice is to get your guys, ADP is just a consensus ranking system which everyone gets hung up on every year. My real “value” came at the end of the draft, when I grabbed McFadden, Sproles, and Amendola in the 14th, 15th, and 16th respectively, steals in a PPR.
Anthony – Andy Dalton in the 15th round was my best value pick. Dalton would have easily had over 30 touchdowns and been within inches of 4,000 passing yards had he not been injured. Having Dalton to back up Blake Bortles for my team is going to give me a significant advantage this season. I was so pumped that I got Le’Veon Bell and Arian Foster! I don’t think Bell serves any time for a suspension, and Arian Foster is looking amazing in camp. I can put the two of them in my running back spots and not have to worry about the position all year!
Amol – I think my best value pick was Philip Rivers in the 12th round. I believe Rivers is a high end QB1, who you can start with confidence every week. The fact that I got him in the 12th was huge for me and even better I had already drafted Ben Roethlisberger earlier. Honestly I did not think Rivers was going to last till the 12th, so that is why I drafted Big Ben four rounds earlier. With two high-end QB1 options, I feel very confident going into the season. Outside of my first three picks (Brown, Jeffery and Allen) and the Rivers pick in the 12th, I was really excited about drafting Jordan Matthews in the 6th, Donte Moncrief in the 7th, Tevin Coleman in the 10th and Ladarius Green in the 11th. I think Matthews and Moncrief are two of the most talented young wide receivers in the game and will both have break out years. For me Coleman is a super talented back and can be a workhorse in Atlanta, similar to his days at the University of Indiana. I feel like Devonte Freeman will not have anywhere close to the production that he had last season and Coleman will eventually take the lead back role from him. In Green, I feel like I have a got a tight end who will have a career year in the Steelers explosive offense (especially with the absence of Martavis Bryant and Le’veon Bell early on).
Shawn – I thought my greatest value came in Thomas Rawls in the back end of the 4th round at pick 38. Rawls led the league in yards per carry in 2015 and is on a team that can move the chains, translating to many yards and scores. I’m excited to see what he can and think he is a steal in the 4th. Additionally, Bennett in the 12th round could be a gold-mine considering the Patriots love the 2-TE set and opportunities will be plentiful in the red-zone.
Pasha – I believe Devonta Freeman in the mid 3rd was my best pick, as I was able to turn that into a trade where I received Jordan Reed, Charles Sims, and DeAndre Washington. I gave up Freeman, Dwayne Allen, and Tyler Ervin. I waited too long in the draft to take a tight end, so by having the depth that I did at RB, I was able to execute a trade for the #2 overall TE and a couple sleeper RBs.
Which team had the biggest reach in the draft? Where should that player have been taken?
Arya – Foster was too high for me, maybe just a round or two, considering the risks with his health and with that offense. However I do like the owner’s strategy to pair him with Bell, and that owner was also able to get good value with other picks.
Jon – This will probably be rehashed several times over by other owners, but I would’ve probably taken Gurley, Hopkins or Gronk before drafting Ingram at 1.07.
Nick – I think the biggest reach was Harry in the fourth round taking Michael Floyd. While I like Floyd this year, I felt like he had a good chance of being there in the fifth round, if not sixth. When he was drafted, I had him below 9 other receivers available. Guys like Mike Evans, Randall Cobb, and Kelvin Benjamin were all taken after. Floyd will be good, but I don’t think consistently good as there are so many mouths to feed in Arizona.
Harold – I’m going to assume this will come back as an unanimous vote for me, and everyone will assume Ingram in the first was a reach. Once again, I wanted David Johnson in the first who was taken right before me, and I’m not high on Gurley or an unproven rookie, so I took my next highest rated guy, who was Ingram. I’d personally consider Josh Gordon in the sixth round a reach, but if your betting on potential then Pasha picked him accordingly.
Anthony – Harry took Mark Ingram over Todd Gurley, Lamar Miller and Jamaal Charles. There is no way I would have taken Ingram over any of those guys. I think he could have had Ingram in the second round and taken one of those other guys in the first.
Amol – I would have to say that Harry had the biggest reach in the draft when he selected Mark Ingram with the 7th overall pick. It’s not that I think Ingram is a bad player or will be a bust (I think he is a RB1), but just looking at the players that were still on the board I think it was a reach. I think Todd Gurley, Rob Gronkowski, Deandre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Ezekiel Elliot were players that one could make the case are worthy of being drafted before Ingram. I actually think he could have gotten Ingram in the second round since he would have picked fourth. However, maybe Harry knows something about Ingram that we are all overlooking.
Shawn – It’s just my opinion but Mark Ingram and Eddie Lacy in the first and second rounds are both a reach. I believe they were each taken a round early, respectively, but Harry rationed his picks and its plausible they pan out; lets see it Harry. I also thought Pasha’s pick in Josh gordon in the 6th was little high. Gordon will not be practicing with the team through the first 4 weeks of the season after a year + away from the game. He may end up returning to form but he could have taken that risk a little further down the line.
Pasha – I think Ingram in the first was a reach for Harry, but he got his guy. Everyone has their own rankings, and Ingram’s on a great offense, so it’s not the worst pick in the world. I personally would have gone Gurley and believe Harry would have still gotten Ingram in the 2nd. But hey, who knows!
Aside from your own team, which team would you like to have and why?
Arya – I think Amol was able to get good value for almost every single pick, and he has Antonio brown so I like his team the best. Similar to Amol I am also high on Dara’s team, they both have elite wide receivers so if they just hit on one of their upside rbs they will be in great shape.
Jon – Aside from my team, I think I’d like to have Anthony’s draft the most. He has incredible depth at the RB position (especially week 5 and onwards, pending Bell’s situation) and though his WRs aren’t exactly assured superstars, they have the potential of creating a solid backbone of points week by week. If (a healthy) Foster somehow commandeers the RB reigns in Miami, he could use his RB surplus to potentially bring in a WR2+ via trade.
Nick – I like Dara’s team a lot. Even though he took a quarterback in the third, he made some great picks throughout the rest of the draft. In my opinion, Odell Beckham Jr. has the biggest chance of dethroning Antonio Brown as the number one receiver and Dez Bryant in the second round is absurd. His zero-RB strategy paid off I think, while Johnathan Stewart Jeremey Langford, and Rashad Jennings aren’t the sexiest names out there, I think they’ll produce for where he drafted them. In a three wide receiver league, I think Dara is head and shoulders above the league in the top three wideouts.
Harold – I would have to choose either Nick’s or Anthony’s teams. We all seemed to be targeting the same guys, and I think we all have a similar blend of players and depth. I like Anthony securing Bell in the first, not worrying about the possible suspension and getting his guy. I also think Nick did a good job at grabbing solid guys at WR throughout the draft and sticking in quality players at RB when it was needed.
Anthony – I love Nick’s team. Todd Gurley, Jamaal Charles and Demaryius Thomas with three of his first four picks. That is as solid as they come! I am not looking forward to playing his team in week four!
Amol – Jon’s team is one that I really like in the league. I think his team might be the most balanced, as all his position groups have solid starters. In Lesean McCoy and C.J. Anderson he as two backs who look set to carry the majority of the workload for their respective teams. His later selections of Melvin Gordon and T.J. Yeldon represent two high potential backs that could pay off down the road. At the wide receiver position, Jon has an excellent trio in Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Maclin. Allen Hurns, Marvin Jones, Corey Coleman and Sammie Coates are all interesting late round picks, with very high upside. He managed to grab one of the best tight ends in the league in Greg Olsen to add to an already impressive array of pass catchers and he has a solid back up option in Antonio Gates. At quarterback, Russell Wilson gives him a top-3 option that he can rely on throughout the season to get both passing and running scores. To top off his impressive unit, he managed to get one of the better defenses in the league in the Rams. This coming season, Jon’s team looks like a formidable opponent.
Shawn – I like Pasha’s team, I think it has a whole lot of potential but if I had to take another team besides my own, I would take Nick’s team. If Charles can bounce back from his ACL injury, Nick will have two top-10 backs, three number one receivers and a top-5 QB. His bench is also deep so I can see him plugging holes easily when the inevitable(s) occur.
Pasha – I like Jon’s team. Great starters, solid depth. High upside.